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A drug for HIV to be used in a national trial to treat COVID-19

Photo: Drug imported for virus treatment trial
A drug for HIV patients will be used in a national trial to treat COVID-19, led by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

A drug for HIV patients has arrived in Australia to be used in a national trial to treat COVID-19.

Kaltera, sourced from Mylan in India, is one of two drugs that has shown promising results of treating coronavirus elsewhere in the world.

It will be used in the Australasian COVID-19 trial (ASCOT) led by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The drug was imported with the help of a significant donation from South Australia's largest health charity The Hospital Research Foundation.
Chief executive Paul Flynn said it was critical to be agile and act quickly to support potentially life-saving research into COVID-19.

"We had no hesitation in committing to purchase over $170,000 worth of a generic version of Kaletra to be used nationally in ASCOT," he said.

The trial will initially test two treatments using drugs that are currently used to treat HIV and arthritis, to determine if they were best used in isolation or as a combined treatment.

It will be conducted across more than 50 hospitals Australia-wide.

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